Finding Broncos: Scouting San Diego State Running Back Donnel Pumphrey

Senior Draft Analyst Erick Trickel returns to break down the electric San Diego State running back Donnel Pumphrey. Where does he fit in the upcoming NFL Draft and does he make sense for the Broncos?

Donnel Pumphrey , Running Back, San Diego State Aztecs

Combine Measurements

Height: 5-foot-8

Weight: 176 pounds

Arms: 29 inches

Hands: 8-½ inches

Combine Results

40-Yard Dash: 4.48 seconds

Bench Press (225 lbs): 5 reps

Vertical Jump: 33.5 inches

Broad Jump: 117 inches

Medical History





Year Rush Att Yards Rushing TD Receptions Yards Receiving TD
2013 125 752 8 22 234 2
2014 276 1,867 20 23 160 0
2015 309 1,653 17 27 414 3
2016 349 2,133 17 27 231 0


Patient but not too patient. When he sees it, he is decisive and goes. Has instant third gear, which makes him so quick to the edge. Can outrun most defenders. Really good vision and can sift through the blocks to pick up yards in a flash.

Can chain rush moves together. Sharp cuts. Mismatch nightmare out of the backfield. Dangerous in the open field with his elusiveness.

Has enough toughness to go between the tackles. Really good route running, especially for a running back. Lightning quick.


Way too small and doesn’t have the NFL body or strength. No pass protection potential. Not fast and lacks the extra gear. Arm tackles easily stop him.

Won’t break tackles, despite his efforts. No power to pop defenders. Falls backwards often. No breakaway speed. Average hands.


Five Hot Threads On The MHH Forums
Dallas Insider Says Elway Lied Broncos Free Agent Talk Where Broncos Sit In Draft Order Broncos Draft Talk Broncos Draft: Who Do You Want?

Donnel Pumphrey is really small for an NFL running back. He is a gadget player that you manufacture touches for. Screens, outside runs, returns. Whatever you do, you want to get him into the open field and allow him to use his elusiveness and quickness to pick up yards.

You don’t want him running the ball more than 10 times per game. His body won’t be able to take that beating. Even though his best use is as a gadget player, he doesn’t have that home run speed teams desire for that type of player.

Fit With The Broncos

Pumphrey gives Denver a type of player they don’t currently have. His lack of home run speed is all that keeps him from being an outstanding idea for the Broncos.

They need someone to be a mismatch out of the backfield and someone they can use in a variety of ways, but they need a guy who has the speed to be a touchdown threat whenever he touches the ball. Even still, Pumphrey would give them a lot of what they need for the offense, just not everything.

Draft Grade: Fourth round

Where He Goes: Fourth-fifth round

Insider's Take: Per sources, if Pumphrey had either 20 more pounds on his frame, or ran his 40 just a tenth of a second quicker, he would be a second round pick for a few teams. Since he has neither, the highest I have heard is late third round.

Erick Trickel is the Senior Draft Analyst for Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ErickTrickel.

Follow Mile High Huddle on Twitter @MileHighHuddle and on Facebook

Download the App!

Aztec Report Top Stories